About the Book
Book: Roxie Applesauce
Author: Tonya L. Matthews
Genre: Faith-based Christian Fiction
Release date: August, 2021
God takes broken pieces
and brings them together
for something amazing
Marcella Ciscal enjoyed few good days. The reason she knew she could live another day, the way she stayed sane, the friend who never left her side was Roxie Applesauce.
Homeless and beaten, Marcella awakens to the care of Haleya Kage who’s going through a difficult season—a demanding career, two teens, and her husband Thomas’s business a casualty of the 2009 economic downturn. Yet, with life unstable and the future unknown, it’s the unpredictable that propels His greater plan.
In a story of reconciliation, love, and legacy, we are reminded that life’s not always perfect or predictable, but God can make all things beautiful – in His time.
Life is full of scenes: some short, long, seemingly insignificant—others life-changing. Woven together, these scenes reveal a person’s heart. His or her life-story shared by a heart blessed, unforgettable. – the author.
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About the Author
Tonya grew up on a family farm in Riverside, Kentucky. Her father recognized early on that hoeing tobacco and running hogs weren’t in her skill set. He opted to send her to college. Graduating from Western Kentucky University with honors, Tonya went on to support the business community for two decades as an executive for the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce where she served a primary role in the organization’s multiple national honors.
Tonya has found writing to be a healthy escape and effective therapy in tough seasons throughout her life. Tonya began writing Treasure atop the Mountain 15 years ago when she and her husband were trying to start their family and encountered multiple disappointments. Ultimately, they signed up to be foster parents and adopted.
Tonya’s been married to Todd Matthews for 25 years. They have two grown daughters. In August 2019, she published Treasure atop the Mountain—a fiction novel based on real-life emotions that can be related to by many. Tonya’s second novel in the TREASURE series, Roxie Applesauce, released in August 2021. She’s currently writing the series’ third book, Get Will. Additionally, in 2022, she will debut the first two books in her children’s book series.
More from Tonya
THE STORY behind the story—Tonya L. Matthews
As many of you know, Todd and I adopted our two girls from foster care. I remember hugging Haley one night after a tough day (she was a handful…well, still is) with tears in my eyes. Tears of sadness in my heart for what had brought us both together and tears of hope that we could help each other move forward. Todd and I had experienced multiple failures at trying to have a baby, and she’d experienced failure after failure of what is best for a little girl who needs a stable home-life. Roxie Applesauce, published and release this month, is dedicated to her. Though little has gone as we’d planned, God was and is still in control. I often say, ‘God had her before we did; he’s still got her!’
Life’s road isn’t always fair, but along the way there are those undeniable, unexplainable occurrences where without question the only answer is that it had to be God. That’s the message of hope I needed when I wrote Roxie Applesauce (and still need today.)
I began writing as an outlet for my emotions years ago as nothing seemed to work. I sat down and started writing, not knowing that I could write a novel and not set on it as the end goal. My goal was to find something that would take my thoughts away from the never-ending cycle of worry, anger and confusion over why there was no baby when for so many it just happened so simply.
I enjoyed reading fiction with an inspiring message. I remember when I finished a good book, I’d hold it for a minute after I closed it and even sometimes say out loud, “Wow, that was good!” I’d think about it the next day and the characters in the book were more like people that I knew or wished I knew.
After I read several that didn’t deliver, and inspired by those that did, I thought…I’ll just write what I like to read. So, I sat down and started typing and then I just never quit on the book. In the background of a busy, busy life, it was always there. Then when I walked away from the Chamber to be a better mom to my teen girls, I yet again, needed an outlet for all the ‘I am not equipped to raise these two!’ emotions that followed. Slowly, keeping my family as priority for really the first time ever, I worked toward the publication of Treasure atop the Mountain. Since its release, I can say the greatest joy has been the people that I’ve met! We all struggle. The emotions are the same, though the circumstances may be different. We need to know that we are not alone. We need to know that God’s plan is at work, even through the difficult times. If you haven’t had a chance to read Treasure atop the Mountain yet—first in the series, I hope someone passes it along to you as part of God’s plan as the existence of these books is beyond me!
If you didn’t know, my daughters are named Haley and Aleya. Not biological sisters. Born to two birth mothers who don’t know each other. One named her daughter HALEY and the other named her daughter ALEYA. If you put their names together you have HALEYA. Put you hand over the A on the end and it’s Haley. Put your hand over the H and you have Aleya. I have to remind myself on the toughest of days as a mother of two now adult-age girls in this world full of lies and heartache that God does know what he’s doing, and I know that God’s hand is at work! So, I write the third novel in the series, Get Will, yet again, as a healthy escape for my mind that is often unrelenting when so much is out of our control.
I remember reading the first book from this series and thinking how impressed I was with the writing. The story continues in this book with familiar characters. Even though you could probably read it as a stand alone, I would recommend reading the first one to see how the author develops her characters. This one is just as emotional as the first one but was a little hard for me to follow at first. There are quite a few characters which made it difficult.
Following Marcella’s story was difficult because of the cruelty she endured. The abuse is both emotional and physical. Even though she had physical scars, the emotional ones are the deepest and hurt the most. To think that you aren’t loved or wanted sends you to a place where darkness surrounds you. Marcella could be anyone out there right now struggling with addiction, homelessness or abuse. Through the author’s words we find a woman who is determined to survive even though at times it seems hopeless.
Haleya is finding life to be difficult with a husband who seems unhappy and two children who are moody and distant at times. Her life is complicated with her family spinning out of control. It was interesting to see how the author explores a family that seems dysfunctional but really at the heart of it is lack of communication. If only we could slow down , take a deep breath and see what God has given us we may understand how blessed we are. For Haleya I think her attitude changes when she goes back to being a nurse who cares for her patients. Isn’t it funny how one decision can change everything in our life.
The connection between two people in the story is emotional and heartbreaking at the same time. I love how the author brings Marcella to a place where hope and love is found. It is hard to explain how powerful the ending is. I broke down in tears because Marcella is someone that was broken but God was there to wipe her tears away and bring her peace.
I kept thinking of how to end my review but all I could come up with is , “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world does. Do not let your hearts be troubled and don’t be afraid.” John 14:27.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
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Texas Book-aholic, March 11
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 12
For Him and My Family, March 13
Inklings and notions, March 14
deb’s Book Review, March 15
Locks, Hooks and Books, March 16
Older & Smarter?, March 17
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 18
Pause for Tales, March 18
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 19
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 21
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 22
To celebrate her tour, Tonya is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.